Corporate Advisory

Corporate Advisory

French Duncan Corporate Advisory is French Duncan’s specialist corporate finance team which, advises on a variety of areas including sale mandates, valuations, acquisitions, due diligence, fund raising, grant funding, and business planning.

  • French Duncan is one of the few independent Scottish firms of Chartered Accountants to retain a full-time specialist corporate finance practice, focused purely on corporate transactions.
  • Our corporate advisory team is one of the largest in Scotland with seven members, including a partner, a director and a senior manager.
  • Each year the team advises on a significant number of transactions in Scotland. We undertake work for a host of Scottish clients as well as a number of international businesses.

Our expertise has been recognised with the team being nominated for a number of awards and has twice won team awards at the Scottish Accountancy Awards.

Click here to read our highlights from 2018. 

 

How we can help you

Making the right move at the right time can be the key to success and our Corporate Advisory team is well placed to assist you through the complex and often emotional process of buying or selling a business, undertaking a management buy-out, a management buy-in, or some form of joint/corporate venture.

We can support you and your team in the following areas:

  • Ensuring that your business is “fit for sale”
  • Leading and managing the transaction to allow you to continue to focus on the day to day business
  • Collation of information and, if required, preparing an Information Memorandum
  • Identification of potential acquisition targets and acquisitions
  • Negotiation of terms with the prospective seller/purchaser
  • Tax planning
  • Due diligence, either undertaking due diligence in the case of a purchaser or managing the process
  • Sourcing funding
  • Liaising with your legal representatives in completing the transaction.

Click here to find out more about how our Corporate Tax team can assist with Purchase & Sale of Business.

Due diligence investigations are a necessary element of any business acquisition or financing round. A well delivered report provides the appropriate support information and underpins the winning of backer’s confidence.

French Duncan Corporate Advisory has an experienced and highly commercial due diligence team. Unlike many of our competitors, our team has experienced life outwith the accountancy profession, in commercial entities at Managing Director and Finance Director level and in the banking and public sector funding world. We are therefore well qualified to provide a comprehensive, insightful and commercial diligence service.

Our recent work includes:

  • Due diligence on an acquisition target
  • Due diligence on a number of potential licensees for new technology
  • Due diligence on a number of companies seeking funding, both public sector funding and private sector.

We will work with you in ensuring that the due diligence is correctly focused and delivered in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Our team can also assist in the areas of pre-investment due diligence or post-investment monitoring on behalf of institutionally managed private equity funds and other investors.

Click here to find out more about how our Corporate Tax team can assist with Purchase & Sale of Business.

Efficient and effective business planning is key for both new and established organisations, allowing management to focus on the important issues both now and in the future.

We can assist you in preparing a business plan, be it for raising funding or simply as a management tool.

Prior to putting pen to paper, we will spend time in understanding your business, where the growth opportunities lie and where the issues are to be addressed.

With that knowledge, we will work with you in documenting your business and your future plans in a business plan document. We will also assist, as required, in preparing financial projections, reflecting the financial impact of your plans.

Having the right level of funding is the lifeblood of any business.

Recent years have heralded a radical change in the way that companies seek funds for investment and expansion. Prior to the downturn, most companies seeking to raise capital to fund growth would typically have approached their bank in the first instance and, thereafter, looked to supplement this finance with soft funding via a loan or a grant.

Many companies will instead now by-pass that traditional source of primary finance and go straight to alternative funding sources in the private and public sectors before subsequently approaching their bank to ascertain its willingness to plug any funding gap.

This volte-face in how finance is accessed has made those once secondary funders more active and prominent in the marketplace and prompted new funders to enter the market. The result of the emergence of these alternative forms of finance is that ambitious companies are now able to call upon a complex ‘cocktail of funds’ to help plug the funding gap.

Our team offer expert advice in raising funding and in particular, the aforementioned 'cocktail of funds' packages.  We have expansive working relationships built up over many years, with private sector funding organisations.

Additionally and crucially in these current times, we have extensive contacts in the public sector, including grants, and quasi public sector funding organisations. Increasingly, these organisations have a key role to play in a business’s financing facilities.

Your fundraising from the development of a business plan through to introductions to financiers, be it equity, debt or grant and the negotiation of suitable terms will be managed throughout by our experienced team.

French Duncan Corporate Advisory is Scotland’s leading advisor in the grants arena. Our expertise is evidenced in over £80m of Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grants that we have secured for clients over the last eight years.

We are active in sourcing grants across a wide range of business sectors for businesses at various stages in their life cycles. As well as RSA, we have been successful in securing SMART : SCOTLAND grants, and Food Processing Marketing Co-operation (FPMC) grants.

Understanding the value of your business can be important in a variety of situations including the sale of a business, a shareholder dispute, incorporation or restructuring.

Our Corporate Advisory team has years of experience in valuing businesses, large and small, over a variety of sectors. We will invest time in fully understanding your business, its operation, its people and its financial performance as part of our valuation work. We will produce a comprehensive report outlining our methodology in arriving at our conclusions on value and are readily available to talk you through our report. If required, we can advise on any subsequent transaction, shareholder dispute or restructuring.

Our highly experienced Corporate Advisory team is uniquely placed to advise you during challenging times in your business life, having worked with cash constrained businesses outwith the profession. The ability to control a cashflow, liaise with creditors and maintain continuity of supply demands a particular skillset possessed by our team.

We are well known to the high risk teams in the leading banks and where required can call upon the expertise of our Restructuring & Debt Advisory Team.


Meet the Corporate Advisory Team



Graeme Finnie

Graeme Finnie
Managing Partner & Head of Corporate Advisory
g.finnie@frenchduncan.co.uk
0141 221 2984

Graeme Finnie

Graeme Finnie

Managing Partner & Head of Corporate Advisory

LLB (Hons) CA MCSI

LinkedIn Logo


0141 221 2984

g.finnie@frenchduncan.co.uk


Specialisms include...

Following an eclectic career with roles that included qualifying with a Big Four firm, being a corporate manager with a major UK bank and running a credit card sales company, Graeme joined French Duncan in 2005 to establish French Duncan Corporate Advisory ("FDCA"), the corporate finance and advisory department of French Duncan. In 2011 he also assumed the role of Managing Partner.

As one of the most recognised corporate financiers in Scotland, Graeme has built FDCA into one of the market-leading corporate finance and advisory practices in Scotland. FDCA has twice been a winner at the Scottish Accountancy Awards.

As well as corporate finance expertise, Graeme has extensive commercial and management experience, having been responsible for two business turnarounds prior to joining French Duncan, and as the Managing Partner of French Duncan, a business with nearly 200 members of staff.

Over the last 20 years Graeme has been personally involved in, or advised companies involved in, company sales, acquisitions, finance raisings, restructurings, downsizing, strategic reviews, business planning and bank renegotiations. He has worked with hundreds of businesses over the years and has an understanding of most of the issues which commonly face businesses.

Iain  Walker

Iain Walker
Partner
i.walker@frenchduncan.co.uk
0141 221 2984

Iain  Walker

Iain Walker

Partner

CA CBV

LinkedIn Logo


0141 221 2984

i.walker@frenchduncan.co.uk


Specialisms include...

As well as being a qualified Chartered Accountant and Chartered Business Valuator, Iain has over 10 years of experience in the corporate finance profession – both in the UK and overseas.  

Iain moved to Bermuda in 2009 where he worked in the corporate finance and valuations department of KPMG before taking on a role as corporate finance and strategy manager at London listed insurance company Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd.  He has also worked for other major professional services companies, including PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte.

Iain joined French Duncan in 2016 and is a key member of the corporate advisory team.  He specialises in advising on acquisitions, sale mandates, valuations, due diligence, fund raising and business planning. 

Iain was promoted to Partner in April 2019.

Graeme  Smith

Graeme Smith
Senior Manager
g.smith@frenchduncan.co.uk
0141 221 2984

Graeme  Smith

Graeme Smith

Senior Manager

BA CA

LinkedIn Logo


0141 221 2984

g.smith@frenchduncan.co.uk


Specialisms include...

Graeme qualified as a CA in 1989 with KPMG in Edinburgh, where he spent six years, including some time within the corporate finance function. From there he joined the Scottish Government, where he headed a team appraising Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant applications. Following 15 years with the Scottish Government, Graeme joined French Duncan Corporate Advisory in 2007. 

Since joining FDCA, Graeme has been involved in a wide range of corporate finance assignments, including due diligence (for both the private and public sector), share valuations, strategic planning and funding. He has extensive experience in dealing with both primary and secondary lenders.  Graeme has a particular focus on sourcing public sector funding for clients and leads the team responsible for raising over £100m of RSA in the last 12 years. He is also actively involved in raising funds via such bodies as The Scottish Loan Scheme, SMART:Scotland, Large R&D Grants, UK Steel Enterprise and Business Loans Scotland.

With the current difficulties that businesses face in securing private sector finance, Graeme’s skills in raising public sector funding and guiding companies through the fundraising minefield can prove invaluable to clients seeking finance for growth.

Marc  Vosilius

Marc Vosilius
Senior Manager
m.vosilius@frenchduncan.co.uk
0131 225 6366

Marc  Vosilius

Marc Vosilius

Senior Manager

BA(Hons) CA

LinkedIn Logo


0131 225 6366

m.vosilius@frenchduncan.co.uk


Specialisms include...

A prize winning Chartered Accountant, Marc joined the French Duncan in 2014, bringing with him significant experience in undertaking audits for a range of businesses across the manufacturing, property and utilities sectors.

Over the past three years, Marc has led a number of diligence exercises for both external funders and purchasers. Clients benefit from Marc’s extensive commercial exposure and experience in sale mandates, as well as his corporate financial expertise which has seen him work on projects encompassing business planning, projections and grant applications.

Marc prides himself on offering a tailored approach to each individual client. Having grown up in a family business environment he is particularly aware of the protocols and matters which must be considered in both family and smaller owner-managed businesses.

Gordon  Burns

Gordon Burns
Manager
g.burns@frenchduncan.co.uk
0141 221 2984

Gordon  Burns

Gordon Burns

Manager

BAcc(Hons) CA

LinkedIn Logo


0141 221 2984

g.burns@frenchduncan.co.uk


Gordon qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2015, having joined French Duncan’s Audit Department as a graduate in 2012. He became an Assistant Manager and moved to Corporate Advisory in January 2018.

Gordon has gained exposure to a various sectors including manufacturing, construction, property and technology with clients ranging from owner-managed to listed companies. Gordon has been involved in sale and buy side mandates, valuations, business planning, financial projections and due diligence assignments.  In addition, he performs a leading role in our grant application and grant certification service line.

Gordon has recently advised on the sale of an IT company to an international buyer and the sale of a distribution company to a PLC.  Gordon has gained commercial exposure and experience from being heavily involved in these and a number of other transactions during his time in Corporate Advisory.

Gordon offers tailored advice to each client and project in order to add as much value as possible. He has acted as the primary point of contact on an ongoing basis on several transactions and plays a valuable role in both advising and managing the clients’ expectations throughout the process.

Gregor Steedman

Gregor Steedman
Assistant Manager
g.steedman@frenchduncan.co.uk
0131 225 6366

Gregor Steedman

Gregor Steedman

Assistant Manager

MA(Hons) CA

LinkedIn Logo


0131 225 6366

g.steedman@frenchduncan.co.uk


Gregor qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2016, having joined French Duncan’s Entrepreneurial Services Department as a Graduate in 2014. He moved into Corporate Advisory in October 2017, after a period of secondment.

During his time with French Duncan, Gregor has worked closely with SME’s and owner-managed businesses on compliance and strategic projects. Gregor often acts as the client’s key relationship manager/contact within French Duncan.

During his time with the Corporate Advisory team, Gregor has been involved in a number of diligence exercises for both the private and public sector and has also been involved in sale and buy side mandates, share valuations, financial projections and business planning assignments.

Get in
Touch